Theater: Ah! The Times-Picayune Review!
Always a sense of let-down when a run of your show ends. The poetic melancholy of an empty theater, old Pops the stage manager sweeping up, telling you to get the hell out there so he can turn off the lights... it's a sweet sadness... I need something to take myself out of myself... Ah! What's this? The latest New Orleans Times-Picayune--perhaps a little note on the play by their theatre critic, eh? Just the thing! Let's read it together, shall we?
"'SPHINCTER' REPORT: William Prendergast's comedy "The Sphincter" was staged at Le Petit last weekend, a work-in-progress in which a talking human anus is elected president of these United States. The play generated much laughter, along with uncomfortable silences (some from the actors), but generally impressed (or didn't) as an ambitious, under-rehearsed two-hours-plus multimedia amusement that might work as a much-shorter one-act, with fewer digressive episodes."
JESUS CHRIST! What the... Pops! Turn those light back on and go out and get me a double Margarita to go! On the double! We've got work to do! We're pulling an all-nighter!
"Under-rehearsed..." Jesus, we hardly rehearsed AT ALL, but how did HE know that?! "Uncomfortable silences (some from the actors)"... My God hasn't the man ever heard of a "dramatic pause"? He must be referring to those actors who didn't know all their lines and started reading from the script on stage... I was hoping no one would notice that... DAMMIT ALL TO HELL! I'm ruined in this town! RUINED! Now I know why the heathen rage!
Now wait a minute... wait a minute... don't panic... got to think... What would Sergeant Bilko do? Hmmm... there may be a way to salvage this review... a little judicious cutting here, a little snip here, a little snip there, and we've got ourselves a few "rave review" blurbs for the next production... Let's see...
'SPHINCTER' REPORT: William Prendergast's comedy "The Sphincter" was staged at Le Petit last weekend,
Let's cut that phrase a bit; put an exclamation point in at the end, and turn it into the first blurb:
"COMEDY!" says the Times-Picayune!"
Yes, that's better. Now to strike out that part about "a work-in-progress"; we're charging full price for tickets, so there's no need to burden the customers with THAT sort of trivia...
"The play generated much laughter," (we can use that just as it is) "along with uncomfortable silences (some from the actors)" (the hell with that, that goes) "but generally impressed (or didn't)" (strike out "or didn't" and you've got "Generally Impressed!" . Better strike out "generally," too, yes, that's better: "Impressed!" Too bad he didn't say "Impressive..."
"...an ambitious, under-rehearsed two-hours-plus multimedia amusement that might work as a much-shorter one-act, with fewer digressive episodes." Okay I can do something with this... think... think, Prendergast, put that incredible mind of yours to work... Okay! I got it: "Ambitious!" "Multimedia Amusement!" "Might work!" (No, take that last one out, it's a little weak.) "Fewer digressive episodes!" (Nah, that one stinks, strike that.)
Okay, then here's what we've got for the posters outside the theater next fall:
"COMEDY! THE PLAY GENERATES MUCH LAUGHTER!IMPRESSED! AMBITIOUS! MULTIMEDIA AMUSEMENT!" SAYS THE NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE.
Hmm, not bad, not bad. (Too much salt on the rim of this Margarita, Pops. No tip for you this time, get lost.) Yes, I think we can live with this. But I'd like to see this critic's face when he walks by the theater this fall and sees all these "rave" blurbs, heh heh. Thank God for capital letters... Pops! I'm ready to go home now, call my car. Pops? Hello! What the devil... You'll turn those lights back on, Pops, if you know what's good for you! Do you want me to trip and break my--